‘Those who donot learn history are doomed to repeat it’.
How true is this quote by George Santayana. I was reminded of it as I read this beautiful and timely book by Callie J. Trautmiller about a time in American history that has been forgotten. Perhaps because it is matter of collective shame. Still, it is important to talk about it especially now because of the circumstances we are living in. Because we humans are fond of creating barriers among ourselves. Despite being citizens of the same nation, some of us are considered to be less than others and are required to prove our loyalty.
Becoming American is about Executive order 9066 when in the wake of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and the hysteria that followed, tens of thousands of Japanese Americans were relocated to hastily set up camps in Western US. Entire communities were uprooted and their civil liberties were violated. This thoroughly researched novel has been written with tremendous sensitivity from the perspective of Allu Noguchi and her brother Robbie who are young and therefore unscathed with the scars and cynicism adults carry. Though categorized as Young Adult this book is a must read for all ages. Highly recommended!
Mom’s voice whizzed past my six-year-old ears before the morning sun swallowed it up like it does everything else—the moon, the stars and dreams. I didn’t yell back a response. I had better things to do.
I was in the backyard, standing barefoot on the wet grass. I love the grass. I love the way it catches the sun in the morning and how it crunches under my feet and bounces right back up after I’ve stomped on it with all my might. But that happens to be my second favorite memory. My first is Mr. Tim.
Mr. Tim was my friend. My secret friend (you know how little kids like to have secret friends). We first met behind the giant old beech tree. No one liked to go near it, but I did. Big trees don’t scare me.
It was springtime. I know because I could smell the lilacs and the leaves were the color of freshly squeezed lemonade. The faded deck above me creaked like Nana’s old knees as I eyed the steep slope. Then, like always, I ran-skipped a few steps, then dropped and slid the rest of the way on my bottom. It was so fun, even though I knew later Mom would give me ten with her wooden spoon.
PS: This drabble is related to my prior drabble Betrayal and the short Run Aaliyah Run. Can you connect the clips? Stay tuned for more 🙂
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